Mahone was born in San Antonio, Texas on April 4, 1996. His father died when he was a year and a half old, and he was raised by his single mother, Michelle. He attended Lady Bird Johnson High School. He first started posting videos on YouTube with his friend Alex Constancio in June 2010. Music videos followed by in January 2011, and he began to build an online following. In October 2011, Mahone posted a video covering Justin Bieber's "Mistletoe".
On August 28, 2012, Mahone announced that he had been officially signed to Chase/Universal Republic Records. Mahone's first single was "11:11". On June 5, 2012, Mahone released a second single called "Say Somethin". In 2013, he was named one of MTV's Artists To Watch.
Mahone was chosen as one of the opening acts of Taylor Swift's Red Tour. In November 2012, Mahone signed a deal to become the new "Teen Ambassador" for Lil Wayne's Trukfit fashion clothing line. He has filmed commercials for McDonald's and Hot Nuts (Mexican snack). In December 2013, Mahone was named a "Digital and Brand Strategist" for Aquafina’s FlavorSplash, a new line of flavored sparkling water targeted towards teens.